United Airlines Flies the Boeing 747 One Last Time

The United Airlines crew celebrates the final 747 flight // Photo by United Airlines.

United Airlines flew its Boeing UA747 aircraft – called the “Queen of the Skies” - for the final time on a flight from San Francisco to Honolulu this Tuesday. The airline recreated the first 747 flight operated by United in 1970 for the farewell journey, complete with a 70s inspired menu, retro uniforms worn by flight attendants, and in-flight entertainment calling back to that first flight. The San Francisco to Honolulu route was a nod to the first-ever flight as well.

The seats for the final voyage sold out in less than 90 minutes when the farewell celebration was announced in September. The send-off began at San Francisco International Airport (SFO) with a gate party that included a 747 gallery, 70s costumes for use in the retro photo booth, and a life-size retirement card for customers and employees to sign. Oscar Munoz, Chief Executive Officer of United Airlines, addressed the crowd alongside state senator Jerry Hill and executives from Boeing and Pratt & Whitney.

Upon landing in Honolulu, local employees welcomed the aircraft with final festivities to close out the day, including words from United leaders and Hawaii State Representative Henry J.C Aquino.


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It was on January 11, 2017, when United announced it would retire the 747 fleet in the last quarter of 2017, marking the end of a successful 47-year history with the aircraft. On October 29, 2017, United flew its last international 747 flight with a trip from Seoul to San Francisco, before retiring the fleet this Tuesday.

United Airlines and United Express operate 4,500 flights a day to 337 airports across five continents, operating 751 mainline aircraft to popular destinations across the globe. For more information, visit www.united.com.

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